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bass sounds better/more consistent outdoors ? (non-pa related)

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by garagebassman, Jul 25, 2012.

  1. Over the past couple of years I have run into a couple of rooms that have provided challenges in eq'ing.

    my amps 4 band is overmatched in some rooms I think.

    It has happened with different basses amps and cabs, and has affected different notes in different rooms.

    The other night at a new room (for us), I could not hear Ab, neither on E string nor on D string, but the adjacent notes (particularly on E string ) were very resonant. We had a waist high wall in front of a prtion of the stage area. I eq'd around it sufficiently for the gig, but it is annoying. Same bass, cab and amp the next day at outdoor gig sounded excellent (eq back to flat)....not to mention at the outdoors gigs, I get to "open up" the volume knob a bit.

    my theories are 1)this can probably only be properly addressed with more bands of eq (which I won't do, as I like things simple), 2) probably doesn't sound too bad in the rest of the room as long as I don't over boost the already too resonant notes trying to compensate.

    Am I fairly close ?

    Makes me wish more gigs were outdoors though as the bass always seems to sound great out there (even walking around audience area with a wireless unit)

    I'd appreciate some experiences and/or input on it
  2. DuraMorte


    Mar 3, 2011
    Sounds like room nodes and cancellations to me. Which don't happen outdoors, obviously.
    Where you put your rig has a huge effect on what room problems you have. Try moving to the other side of the stage next time, and see what happens.
    There's a chart online somewhere that has the nodes and cancellations for certain frequencies calculated by room dimension. That may help you.
  3. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    1/4 wave length from a boundary/wall can cause boundary cancelation.
    Speed of sound at room temp 1130' per sec. 1130/80=14.125' 1/4 of that is 3.53'

    If you amp is 3.5' from back wall and side wall, you got a lot of 80hz cancellation which is the 1st harmonic of your low E.
    7 feet from the wall will cancel some 40hz or low E fundamental. The resonances are room size. Hollow stages can be problems too. An auralex gramma under your cab can help some if it's stage resonance.
  4. Toptube


    Feb 9, 2009
    Outdoors you don't have nearly as many surfaces reflecting your sound. A natural location gets additional damping from grass. So all you hear is mostly pure projection and little or no reflection. If you don't have PA support outdoors, then you are going to want some sort of semi containment, to ensure most everyone is "feeling" your sound. Something like a head height fence can do the job. or a bowl shape like an amphitheater. but that amphitheare should be mostly natural. the concrete ones tend to reflect highs all over and can be pretty shrill. If you don't have any way to contain the sound outdoors and its a fairly large/open area---have a big stack or multiple cabs pointed different directions...
  5. Ok thanks.
    I have been made aware that the cab placement will have quite an effect. I didn't have the extra "oomph" to rearrange things between sets, and I hadn't noticed the issue until a few songs into the first set.
    I have been using a small rug under the cab recently (seems to help with hollow stages/floors, even thought this one wasn't).

    I guess it is mainly just that strange room size, along with the little 1/2 wall in front of us .

    I have heard that placing cab off to side and pointing across stage can help as well ? I am always afraid to do this as I want to be directly in front of cab to keep hearing highs clearly. May just take some experimentation with that (or other ) problem rooms.....I can just see my band mates faces when I start moving cab around........"what the... . ?? "

    It may help though
  6. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
  7. Looks interesting, I may just have to try it !
  8. Keithwah


    Jan 7, 2011
    Milwaukee WI
    This is for sure! I've been side washing since the early 80's and would never go back......ah that's right...I use IEM's now and don't even turn my amp on anymore. But if I did....it would still be from the side. It fills the stage so much better and more evenly. I didn't even need to use as much volume since the rig was so much closer. If you are always running though a PA live, then you actually should like it more than behind you. After all, where are your ears? On the side of your head or the back of your head? So you would actually hear more of your high end, and get a better mix of the rest of the band if they would wise up and also run side wash! And your FOH guys will love you for it!

    Also, if running through a PA live, try reducing the lows you use on stage. The PA is carrying you anyway, so having this huge fat rumble bellowing out of your rig only makes the entire stage area muddy...then the guitars crank to cut through.,,,, Sotheby's drummer hits harder......then everyone goes deaf!
  9. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Let's see.......... The drummer can actually hear you clearly instead of mush, the amp is pointed at the side of your head where your ears are (instead of the back of your head or your A$$. And the sound guy can hear what's coming out of the PA instead of 2 guitar half stacks and a bass refrigerator parting his hair and burying the PA. And you can hear your amp at a lower volume........what's to be afraid of?

    You want your amps pointed center stage so everyone playing is in the sweet spot.
    Let the PA fill the room. Best mixes I ever get are bands with small combo amps side stage. beats schlepping a refrigerator around to every gig, quicker easier set up and better for band and audience.
  10. I always felt bass was the one thing that worked better outdoors, without the normal room dynamics we're forced to deal with inside.

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